Monday, August 29, 2011

Smile Starters

Here's what's making me smile today:

1. Hearing Jimmie Dale Gilmore calling to me this morning when I went into the garden.

2. My new jeans - dark rinsed, trouser style.

3. Talking to Strangers - I was having sushi at a crowded restaurant and invited a couple to join me, as all other seating options were full. We had a nice conversation and it's wasn't nearly as weird or uncomfortable as it sounds.

4. My amazing house and her fabulous electric bill - second month running!

5. Practicing loving-kindness meditations.

6. Running into the President of my company at the carwash and speaking to him. (No longer pretending I'm invisible is HUGE for me).

7. Being the "Fruit Fairy".

8. Sushi - even though the soy sauce gave me a sodium bounce today.

9. FInishing The Help - cried some, actually. Now to see the movie

10. Anticipating Fannie Flagg's new book.

11. Dinner invitation with friends this evening.

What's bringing your smile today?

Food has been good. Exercise could be better, but I've been busy doing yardwork/chores, so I'm counting it.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Look for reasons to smile.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Almost Famous

While I didn't get to complete the whole project yesterday due to my friend's illness, turns out I still made the news. I've been greeted many times this morning with "Hey, I saw you dancing on the news this morning." I shudder to think of what the clip looks like and I can't seem to find a replay of it online - which is probably good. I don't know if it will replay on the local NBC affiliate's evening news cast.

Crazy From The Heat

Yesterday didn't turn out like I'd planned - most days don't. While practicing for the recording of the dance thingy yesterday, my dear friend and colleague collapsed from the heat. Consequently, I spent the rest of the afternoon with her, the paramedics and then getting her safely home. Quite scary.

I heard from her later in the evening and she was fine, so I am hopeful today has her feeling back up to snuff.

I don't have much on tap for this weekend - just the usual meetings and chores. Nothing particularly outstanding on the horizon, but that's okay. If I can spend another morning like this one, having coffee in the garden with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, it makes for a spectacular day.

Saturday morning I am going to help install a community fall garden and then come home and work in my own yard, depending upon the time and the heat index. I may have to put that off until Sunday and find another way to exercise in the cool if I can't ride my bike on Sunday morning. Finding ways to ration the cool of the morning is becoming difficult.

We also start water rationing here on Monday. Our drought conditions are severe. I don't know how that will work for me - I don't know that I can keep my place watered in the allotted time on the allowed days - two days a week. Handwatering is allowed. I've never been through this, so we'll see. I think my days are Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Looks like I have a first cousin and his teenaged daughter coming to stay one night with me next week on their trip through Texas. That should be fun - I haven't spent that much time with him, but what time I have has been a barrel of laughs. He's a WA cousin, so he just might croak from the heat.

I'm off to get in a walk this morning.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Keep Your Cool.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

How Could It Be Thursday?

This week has flown by in a blur! It's been a good, but hectic week. I wrote that I was having lunch with Valerie last weekend. What I didn't say is that she has a very limited palate. Mexican food, of either the fast food variety or the restaurant variety, is pretty much it. For me, Mexican restaurants are one of the hardest places for a non-carby person to go. I have figured out the coffee trick and that works pretty well to keep the chips at bay and if I don't have that first one, I'm good to go. The second trick I just discovered last weekend was ceviche salad. Luckily for me, her first restaurant choice was closed and so I made a second suggestion, figuring I could always get a grilled chicken fajita salad or somesuch. But I chose a restaurant she'd never been to and I found the ceviche salad on the menu. And boy was it yummy! Great, great choice for me. Now, I'm going to suggest that restaurant for all our outings, at least during the warm months, as we can both be really happy with it.

Food has been good, exercise has been good. Today I'm participating in a special televised (locally) event to support breast cancer research. I've went to the dance class to learn the moves - I've got one more practice today, followed by two hours of filming. In.This.Afternoon.Heat. If I don't return, it's been nice knowing you!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get yourself a nice piece of fish.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Be The Change

For nearly ever, I've been griping about the "food pushers" in my office and having to run the baked-goods-gauntlet just to get a cuppa joe in the morning. This morning on my way to work, I was thunderstruck with an idea - what if I changed things? What if I brought in fresh fruit each week for the communal area? Could I evoke a change in the culture? Would people make healthier choices if that choice was easily available? Would they choose an apple rather than an apple fritter? Can I start a trend?

I am not trying to be the food police at the office. However, of the 17 or so of us in this division, I am probably in a three-way tie for "most healthy". So I'm committed to bringing in a few dollars worth of fresh fruit or perhaps some chopped vegetables to share each and every week until the end of the year. I wonder if it will make a difference?

Watch this space.

Out Of The Dark Ages

My new phone. I just picked it up last night. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am not an always-has-to-have-the-latest-gadget. In fact, I'm rather gadget-avoidant. I'm sure there is a DSM-IV code just for me. However, I'm working on a new development project at work - porting some of our web aps to mobile devices, so it was time for a smartphone (plus work is buying it for me). That part is nice, but the bigger monthly bill is all mine.

I'd seriously considered getting an iPhone, as Pebbles and Slater are both members of that cult. However, there is still a custody issue over my phone number, even though I've had it for ten plus years - Spr1nt considers it my ex-husbands' (who did have to have the latest and greatest, which is why I have this phone contract in the first place and goes a long way in explaining why he is an ex- something new came out and he wanted it "Here Honey, why don't you just take my phone. You are home alone and on the road by yourself so much." ) phone and in order for me to change providers and keep my phone number, he would need to show up in person and relinquish custody. Which he would totally do, but I needed to move fast on this - so I just stayed with Spr1nt's best (hopefully) a new Photon 4G. It has many bells and whistles and I hope that they don't go off accidently.

Sleep has been not good recently - which has a great deal to do with my metabolism gearing up, I think. When I'm eating on program, my sleep goes down to five hours. When I'm loading up with carbs? Sleep like a baby. I am going to try the "cool pillow" deal. Some recent research has shown that insomniacs received an amazing amount of relief when they slept in a "cooling" helmet - something that kept their heads cooler. I ain't got nothing in my fridge 'cept Diet Coke anyway, I think there's room for a small pillow. I'm sure if that is ever discovered, there will be a DSM-IV code for that, too!

Food has been good. Exercise has been good. I'm now sitting at a threshold weight. It will be interesting to see if I self-sabotage my way out of this one - which I've done for several months when I start to see the 140's in my rearview.

The plan is some exercise this morning, as meetings at work won't allow for a lunchtime gym trip. I've got my eggs a-boiling for some egg salad for lunch and I don't have a clue as to what dinner will bring.

Tonight's exciting plans include watching the final Netflix episode of Doc Martin. And then it will be up to me to pick the next series to watch. I don't even remember the last time I actually watched anything "on" TV - when the set comes on, it's either to stream Netflix or Pandora. Oh, and I think my phone will "project" onto my TV - Craziness!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be Au Courant.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

On Thin Ice

All limbs accounted for. Nothing broken or severely bent. Yep, I survived my ice skating adventure last night. I cannot begin to recall the last time I was on ice skates. There were no twirly-twirls last night, no Hamill Camels or Katerina Witt-style foot-in-hand moves, but I didn't fall, so there is that. It was a fun time and much more "athletic" than I remembered. I wasn't skating with much speed at all, but after about 45 minutes, I was done. Decided to quit while I was still intact.

Did a morning bike ride on the rails-to-trails with Talia yesterday. I would have like to have gone further, but she didn't have the time, so a short hour or so ride was all we could fit in. Still, it was great to be riding in the shade. I do love that trail.

I also took myself out to dinner last night before the ice skating outing. I had a Groupon that I needed to use. It wasn't a table-cloth restaurant - it was a BBQ place, but they still had tables and no seating at the bar. So, I just walked up and asked a couple of people sitting at a large table if I could poach with them. Turns out, it was the owner of the place and we had a nice conversation. While I've dined alone, I'd never really asked if I could join people. But the table was big and so I did it. Worked out to be a pleasant meal.

As for today, I haven't decided what exercise I will get. I've probably missed my bike riding window - plus I'm a little sore from ice skating last night. I'm thinking this morning will just be a meditative walk through the public gardens. I also want to time my walk to the nearest bus stop, in case I want to take the bus to work again. It's not nearly as convenient as it was when I lived in The Closet, but it is still doable.

I'm having lunch with Valerie - haven't seen her much this summer. It will be good to see her and catch up, plus she got a new puppy. Yeah for puppy breath!

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Try new things.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boyfriend Jeans

When he gave the first pair to me, he said “These will look good on you”. These were a pair of 501, classic button-fly Levis. It’s what he always wore. He kept five pair in constant rotation, but after a short time together, he needed to move up a size and handed me the well-worn, perfectly broken in pair of jeans.

“Your ass looks good in those jeans” he said when I modeled them. And so I began to wear his cast-off Levis. Over our time together, he continued to get a bit larger and I continued to get a bit smaller - so the fit of the jeans changed - from one he preferred to a lower-on-the-hipbone fit that I preferred.

The key to wearing these very masculine mens’ jeans was to pair them with the girliest of girl things - a boho, frilly blouse, a pair of killer heels, the perfect white shirt and awesome belt - reminiscent of that Tina Turner video from decades ago. Those jeans became a signature piece for me. The retro piece in a style that Allison Lowe termed “elegant cowgirl”. My look. My style. My boyfriend jeans.

The jeans made for some comic moments as well. One day, he came home from work and asked me to bring him all “my jeans”. At that point, he got out a sharpie and marked a black X on all the leather tags so as not to repeat that day’s mistake. He’d accidently picked up a pair of “my” jeans - now too small for him - and had worn them to work that day - uncomfortably. We had such a laugh over that.

All the jeans, now perfectly sueded, their cuffs frayed in that well-worn way, the denim butter
soft, and the perfect blue - those jeans were quickly stashed in the closet when I moved in here. The summer was too hot for jeans and so they hung there, unseen and forgotten. Until this week. When I saw them again. And knew that it was time for them to go. I couldn’t wear them anymore. Even the pair that I love the most - that first pair - the most worn, the softest pair.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Joy For Beginners

The jet ski trip did not work out. The company inexplicably cancelled my reservation and failed to return numerous texts, emails and phone calls. I finally heard from someone late yesterday afternoon with a promise that the manager would call me last night. No call came. So while I was disappointed, I had to look at it as just not in the cards for me, for whatever reason. So I was given a day to do with exactly as I pleased.

The trouble is, I sometimes have trouble knowing "exactly as I please". I thought of a hundred different things to do, places to go and couldn't decide. The question that I finally asked myself is (shamefully) this "What would I want to do if I wasn't worried about telling people what I did?" Phrased another way, "Which is more important to me - what I did or what I get to tell people I did?" How's that for deflating the big head?

Turns out, what I really wanted to do was to have some water and some sun - so I donned a make-shift bikini in my very, very private backyard and I played in the sprinklers. I gardened under the sprinklers. I sat up my CVS-special lounge chair and I read between forays into the water. I read Joy For Beginners, which was a fast, easy and earthy read. It certainly fit my frame of mind. I got quite a bit of weeding and trimming done and got kissed by the sun in the process.

After Waterworld, I got cleaned up and headed over to the Kimbell to see the most recent exhibit before it closed. As usual, I enjoyed the permanent collection and the space itself more than the traveling exhibition. Still, it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

After that, I did a bit more shopping. I bought a new pair of shoes - I'd noticed that my black strappy wedge sandals had given up the ghost. I wore them a lot and with some linen bits, they had gotten worn and very dirty. I didn't actually pick them out - Pebbles bought them for herself, oh, five years ago, I suspect - and for whatever reason, convinced me to buy them off of her. I couldn't find an exact replacement, obviously, but I did find this year's Kenneth Cole (or it was DSW, so perhaps last year's) black strappy wedge sandal for about half the price I paid Pebbles for these, so I'm happy. I also need a replacement for the most comfortable heels in the world that are worn beyond repair - a pair of Hush Puppies (I know, but they look good - but alas, no replacement for them as of yet - they are a dull pewter color, which makes a lovely neutral. The new neutral on all the shelves appears to be a puece-y beige in patent leather. Yuckaroo. Oh well, some replacements will show up.

Tonight is GNO at a new place that opened up. We are celebrating a retirement and a birthday. I hope the new place is decent - this was my month to choose the venue.

Food and exercise was good yesterday, although I did have to have nuts for dinner! I stopped into a place that sells all sorts of Texas-centric food stuffs to get some munchies to smuggle into the bar tonight, and I fell for some nuts. It was witching hour and I was too hungry and I ate too many of them, so that just had to be my dinner. About 8 o'clock, I was cursing the decision to even stop at the store! Ah, well.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Roll with it.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Ski Or Not To Ski

I don't know if today's planned adventure is going to happen. I appear to be off of the schedule - my appointment shows up as cancelled and I have been unable to get a response from the company to phone calls, texts or emails. So, I don't know what's up with that - it could be just a miscommunication, as the scheduling calendar was unclear and I did cancel the reservation that I'd accidently made on a lake 50 miles from here. I am hopeful that dawnserly light will bring a resolution. If I don't ski today, well, it's because I wasn't supposed to and I'll have to just let it go at that. I have already taken the day off of work, so I can treat myself in other ways, I suppose. Or I could do chores. Or something. Whatever it is, it will be wonderful.

I'm still trying to figure out a workable solution for a recycling bin(s) in the Tiniest Kitchen In the World. I've got a new strategy in place this week, so we'll see how it works.

Food, exercise, productivity and self-care were all good yesterday and I have a full day of opportunity for it all to be good today. After some consideration and a Homer-like slap upside the head, it has occurred to me that I can keep Cha-Cha for my off-road riding with Talia on our favorite trails AND I can buy a road bike. I'm allowed to have more than one, especially since I already own one of them. Doh! I've been running into more and more road bike cyclists and I think that I would enjoy some more group riding and activities. Having some accountability would do me good. So, if you ride a road bike, what do you ride? Do you like it? Tell me about how one measures for a bike? Can any LBS perform that feat adequately?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Create A Splash.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Rolling Meditation

Great, great weekend. The party Saturday night was a ton of fun - lots and lots of stories and laughter. The very best kind of party. Way, way too much food. Next time when I do a potluck for this group, I'll say get with a couple of other attendees and bring one thing. I hate to see so much go to waste.

Sunday morning I got up and went for a twenty miler. I hadn't ridden in a while - with the break in the weather it was nice to get out. This heat has just been unrelenting and really did a number on my motivation. I actually got out and rode a bit this morning, which was nice. I won't be able to get much exercise at anytime this week other than in the morning, so I'm going to try to take advantage of it.

This week promises to be a full week, as I'm taking tomorrow off from work to go on my jet-ski adventure. Since signing up for this deal, I've had some second thoughts - as in "What happens if I fall off of this beast? How will I be able to crawl back on a bobbing, weaving thing?" I guess I will figure all of that out tomorrow, won't I?

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Get Rolling.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Stories We Hold On To

A couple of things have happened lately that have got me thinking about "our stories". The stories that we tell and believe about our lives. Not that the stories are wrong, they just no longer may be the whole truth and those stories, or beliefs, may no longer be serving us well.

I was talking to a friend the other day who went through a painful separation and divorce. They were high school sweethearts and had been married for about 26 years. That's been about seven years ago. She was relating to me a story of how she had just ran into their neighbors from eons ago and she told her story about how he had left her. She told them this story while standing in the grocery store. Now I say this with utmost compassion for her pain and I am not trying to minimize it at all. I just wander if she, or any of us, are well-served by continuing to tell our stories in the same old way?

It made me think about the roles we cast for ourselves and especially how we show ourselves to other people. I know that I've been overly tied to my "story" - to being wronged, neglected, over-taxed, etc. It was how I packaged myself. I didn't realize HOW tied I was to my own personal narrative until I was writing for some recovery work and attempted to tell just the events of my life WITHOUT my editorial comment. It was hard for me to do. My explanations for things became as important as the events themselves. The things that happened are true, however, continuing to paint my future with the colors of the past no longer serves me well. It is not a denial, but a letting it go. Of looking at things in a new way, from a new perspective.

I believe we see what we want to see and that our story or narrative is like putting on a pair of glasses that only allows us to see things a certain way. I don't want to find myself saying "this always happens to me" or "just more of the same" - it's a self-perpetuating thing, I think. I believe we bring into being the things we focus on the most. If my focus is that of victim, then all I see is more ways that I am victimized.

Enough with the navel-gazing.

Yesterday was a much more peaceful day. Work is insane - the auditors are crawling all over the place - and I had a conference call that lasted forever, so no time to go to the gym at lunch. I did, however, go outside for a walk. If one stayed in the shade, it was tolerable. Luckily, I was bare-legged in a skirt rather than in full-on business regalia, so that was rather nice. And while my shoes weren't athletic, I was able to comfortably walk about for nearly forty minutes. The mental break was as important as the physical one.

Food was very light yesterday. Wasn't particularly hungry after the prior evening's foodfest.

I'm prepping for the potluck I'm hosting on Saturday night. I still don't have a clue as to whether I will have enough chairs, but there is always floor cushions, right? I'm looking forward to it. I'm also attending a lecture on "quantum physics for dummies". I hope the for dummies part is true, otherwise I shall be very, very lost.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Is there a part of your story that you are ready to let go of?


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Long Range Planning

When I said yesterday that I wouldn't call what I am happy, it doesn't mean that I don't experience joy, peace, smiles and laughter on a daily basis. Happiness is rather fleeting, I think. I'm going for that whole contentment and serenity Platinum level.

I'm doing a lot of recovery-based work and it is hard. I won't call it a struggle, but I will say that it can and does become uncomfortable. I'm seeing, perhaps for the first time, things about myself that I'd really like to change, things that don't serve me well. And now I notice when I act on those thoughts, whereas before, I could go just blindly skipping through the Glitterpods and beribboned trees. Not fun. Not happy. But I know that it is the work I need to be doing. The trick is not be beat myself up over these new insights, but to consider them gifts and just do the best I can with them.

Yesterday, was not one of those days. I failed in my actions and I failed in my reaction to my reaction. So today, I get to work through this. I do know that I never learned one good thing from shaming - either internally or externally. I've got to accept where I am and what I am so that I can move forward.

A friend asked me over the weekend if I'd been out on a date yet. I shocked myself be the intensity of my response, "Oh my god, no". The internal dialog was "How could she even ask that? It's still way too soon." But really, the relationship had been dying a slow death for a long time, and if one goes by the usual one-month per year, then I should be well and truly done. And yes, I still love and care about him, but I am done with him.

So the work I'm doing right now has nothing to do with romance or partnership. It has to do with me, by myself, alone in my head and how I feel and how I operate when the focus is where my butt is - on me and not on someone else. Truthfully, anyone else would be a distraction - and I would abandoned this uncomfortableness and seek refuge in what I know best - avoiding uncomfortable feelings and loosing myself into someone else. No, I am trusting the struggle and feel that I am right where I need to be.

I am leaning into the uncomfortableness of it all rather than doing my usual and avoiding it. I think so much of my life has been spent trying to avoid pain and that resistance has led to such angst. From where I'm sitting, the act of avoidance is worst than the pain itself.

I binged last night. Hadn't done that in a long, long time. But it was also done with the "light on", rather than blindly. I could see a sharp connection between what I was feeling about how I'd reacted earlier in the day and my need to DEFLECT myself from thinking about that. And I'd never noticed that before. So again, with the avoidance and running away - and all my usual de-elevators didn't seem to work. I went to the gym. I went to run some errands. I went to the cheapo beauty school and got my hair styled. And then I still returned immediately to my failure from the day. So what's the ultimate punishment? Ding! Ding! Ding! we have a winner.

So today I get to work on acceptance of all things. That progress isn't necessarily linear, but last night's insight was PROGRESS with a Capital P. And I'll take it, however uncomfortable it might be.

This part of the journey is exciting, it really is. Even if uncomfortable. I am where I need to be, doing the work I need to be doing. My past is trailing behind me, with events and actions lighting up like a web of interconnectedness. For example, I tied yesterday's actions to a similar action I'd taken thirty years ago. Uncanny.

I feel like I'm transitioning into some other type of blogger, but don't know that there is a ready genre out there for me to tap into. So for now, I'll just continue on here, but a bit less frequently, perhaps.

I will close with these two pillars of discovery. It seems as though almost every decision I have made in the past forty years involves one or the other.

1. Avoiding pain at all cost
2. Seeking affirmation from external sources

to know this about myself feels like such a gift.

ETA: Replace my post with this. It's much more succinct.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The journey is the deal.


PIC stolen from Mr. SponsorPants.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ten Year Anniversary: The gift of Tin

I have been reading OLJs for a long, long time. Almost since they first began, I guess. I am in no way able to compete with the fabulous, real, funny words written by others. This is for me - gor me to chronicle my thoughts as I move through the remainder of my life. Yep, it is downhill for me. I am 40 years old. I may live to be 80, but for the most part, my life is half over. The really great part of that is I get much more of a choice about what happens in the next 40 plus-or-minus, than I did the previous 40. That is something to be grateful for.

This journal is about making choices, choosing to be happy, choosing to be adventurous, choosing to be brave. And oh, how I hate this word- choosing to be empowered.

Yes, I am freckled and fluffy. The freckles are here to stay and I am working on removing a bit of the fluff. I want to be physically able in years to come to hike the Smoky Mountain portion of the Appalachian trail. I want to trek the Cotswold Way. I want to swim with the rays. I want to ride a zipline in Costa Rica.

That's how I opened ten years ago today. I was 40, Pebbles was getting ready to go away to college and I had just celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary, having been together for 15 years.

In the last ten years, the changes have occurred at an almost exponential rate. Pebbles has graduated, married and is pursuing her career path, with some success. My ex-husband has been married now for eight plus years and is presumably happy. And while I won't call what I am happy, I will say that I am more content in my own skin than I've ever been before.

I am still freckled, but most of the fluff has been replaced with sag ;-). But it's better than the alternative - I'm still here and still looking forward to what each day brings. My life is a lot less frentic. I am a lot less resentful and angry. And I've made some serious mistakes. I've made decisions and choices that I now regret. I have harmed myself and others, but I cannot change what was. All I can do now is learn from those mistakes and move forward.

And there has been a good deal of growth. I'm a much more serene - while I'm certainly not the serenity queen, there are stretches where I am able to stay in the present - not writhing over the past, nor worried about the future. I've come to a greater acceptance of myself, freckles, foibles and all.

I still have a vision for my future - the woman that I hope to become - grounded, earthy, fit and passionate with a willingness to laugh at the slightest provocation. I look forward to a life filed love and laughter.

I'm celebrating by listening to my Hall and Oates station on Pandora.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. The journey is a-mazing.

Thank you for sharing it with me. I am very grateful.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Wild Brunch

It will be a tough weekend to stay on program. I only earned a fiver today, as I didn't exercise. I don't consider it a problem, as Friday is traditionally my rest day. Tomorrow, however, I need to get up and get cracking! I've got to get on the bike early-early to get home and cleaned up and to a meeting at 10am. Then Mom and my sister are coming over and we are traveling to Dallas, as Pebbles and Slater have invited us all over for brunch. Should be fun - if Pebbles and her Grandmother don't get sideways. But that's their deal. I know longer have a whistle and striped shirt.

The on Sunday, Talia and Elmore are coming over and I'm fixing them brunch. They are both following a lower-carb lifestyle these days, so that will be an easy fix. I'm doing an egg striata to be served with herb and cheese stuffed portabella. He's a vegetarian. Plus some fresh berries. Simple, easy and hopefully good. I've spent this evening setting the "table". I still don't have a dining room table, but did buy a folding table from Lowe's, so I've dolled that up. House is clean; menu is set; I think I'm good to go.

Next Saturday night I'm hosting a potluck for some friends. I'm expecting ten to fifteen guests. I don't know how I'm going to seat them all, but I'll worry about that next week.

Ever since I got the blu-ray DVR thingy that streams Netflix, I'd been blowing right past the Pandora option. Tonight I wondered if that really worked. Oh, baby, does it ever. I'm grooving out to the Steely Dan station and it is fourteen kinds of awesome! Don't know why I've not checked this out before now. And it just got better - Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash just came on. Top five favorite song of mine.

I do hope to get in some of my incentive fund shopping this weekend.

List includes:

terrycloth romper/dress
strapless bra

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Invite people over.


Friday, August 5, 2011


It's been a crazy week here at the Collinwood-Smythe House. First off, I was poking around in the fridge like you do and I managed to knock out the deli tray unto the tile floor. Who knew plastic would crack like that? It somehow hit on the corner and knocked a hole in BOTH of the front corners of the clear plastic tray! I'm sure there was some sort of physics involved. The fall also chipped off about half of the lip that serves as the handle. Okay, so no problem I thought - I'll just replace it. It is my goal to not get behind on repairs and replacements around here. Given my tendency to get overwhelmed by things, it serves me best to address each thing as soon as possible. And luckily for me, The Gardner left me wonderful files, including all the information (sales receipt/owner's manual) so I just thought I'd order a replacement. Called the numbers, poked around on the internet and HOLY MOLY - the deli tray is right at a hundred bucks! The whole fridge only cost around 600! I've got a search in on ebay to see if a used one comes up for sale. I'd appreciate any other ideas if you got 'em.

Second weird damage is to MalibuKen. I guess he's going crazy from the heat! I cannot imagine what the interior temps get to in the car. I try to use window screens and crack the windows a bit - but it's the craziest thing - the paint has started to come off of the forward button on the radio. And yes, I'm a button pusher, but I don't think I have actually worn the paint off in less that two years! So now MalibuKen has a bright lime green spot on his dashboard! Plus, his key fob has failed. I went in and had the batteries replaced, but I think the fob is finished. I switched to be the backup fob, but I need to get him to the dealership to see what can be done about the radio - now that is something I look at everytime I crawl in the car. I want to preserve that "new car" vibe for as long as possible.

Now for non-damages. I had a great day yesterday at the workshop. Luckily, they had food that allowed me to make a chicken fajita salad and I had coffee for dessert instead of the choice of chocolate cake or cheesecake. And to make it even better, I knew myself well enough to know that if I came home after the workshop, I would not get any exercise in for the day. So I went back to work and then I went to the gym. So I earned another TEN!

I didn't have the opportunity to spend it - after the gym, I had a meeting to go to and by then I was STARVING! Came home and ate dinner and it was just too hot to get back out. I kept thinking I'd wait until it cooled down some more, but who the hell am I kidding - that will be December! So I futzed around the house, cleaning, mopping and straightening up.

So now, I've got some dollars in the incentive fund - I think I've got twenty or maybe even thirty - I've sort of lost count. I do know that if all else fails in the search for the Housedress, there is a terrycloth romper/coverup dress thing at Walgreen's for 7.99!

There is another item on my to buy list (I actually keep a list of things that I want or need to buy) and that is a purse. While I love the functionality of the purse I bought as a travel purse, it was a cheapy and it's looking pretty ragged. So now my list includes a strapless, a purse and a housedress.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Survey the damages.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What Started It All: That First Adventure

With both Shelley and Ellen kayaking recently, I was reminded of the adventure that started it all for me. I went here and did this.

I had a trip scheduled back to my 20th reunion in the summer of 1999. It was this trip that prompted my final journey to dropping a lot of weight. I began this journey December 17, 1998 at 257. Sometime in the early spring, I ran across these kayak adventures. I wanted to go. No one in my family wanted to go with me. Everyone seemed to poke a lot of fun at my desire to go do this. But I really, really did. And so I started "working out" just a little bit. I went to the gym with some regularity and worked on my upper body strength. I was scared to do this. I had visions of drowning in the stupid thing. Eskimo rolls of death.

When I got to Washington, I tried to recruit the folks there to go with me. No one was interested. Again with the laughing. But I perservered. I went to join this outing as a solo traveler. And what a blessing that turned out to be - I got to paddle with one of the guides! It was an AMAZING experience. I can't seem to put my hand on what few pictures I have of the adventure, but the pictures depicted on the webpage are very true to what I saw. It was an amazing, amazing experience. Both peaceful and exhilerating at the same time. To be able to feel the water being displaced under the kayak as an orca swam under? There is no feeling like it.

It was that experience that started my quest - mostly to be able to DO things as opposed to look a certain way. I am still motivated more by doing an activity that I love doing.

Thanks, ladies, for reminding just how cool kayaking can be!

I did not spend my $10 tonight. I tried, but couldn't find a "housedress" that would work for me for any price. Stein Mart was having a great sale - and I carted around a couple of adorable jackets, but ended up putting them back. So I did get some benefit - I killed some time window shopping. I've got a couple other places in mind to look. Maybe by tomorrow I'll have another day's worth of moolah! I'm looking forward to venturing back into strapless bra territory.

I've had a horrible history with the straplesses. Mostly they ended up as belts. Pebbles tells me the technology has improved. We shall see.

There are some great suggestions for Chicken Names. Tallulah is a personal favorite - Willis child aside. I almost chose that as my net de plume, but didn't. I do think that it needs to be preserved for something really special, however. I'm loving the Shakira, too. The decision will make itself known.

Official temperature yesterday? 111. OMFG - too damned hot. We've now got an office pool going on when we think the streak will end. I foresee the summer of 1980's 42 days going down in flames - or up in flames.

Today promises to be a very stressful day. Lunch will be out of my control at a workshop, so I will have to make extra efforts to continue the streak.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. What adventure speaks to you?


The Incentive Plan

It's no big secret that I've been struggling with motivation. I have fallen prey to any baked good within a 60 foot radius. My willingness and desire to exercise has left me. So what to do? Well, I've devised a temporary incentive program. And there's no waiting until the end of the week, month, whatever. I need a good DAY ONE followed by a DAY TWO and a DAY THREE. If I can string together three good days, then historically, I ride that wave of feeling in the "zone" when motivation, energy and enthusiasm all combine into the perfect storm of flat-bellied tranquility. But I've been struggling putting together even a couple of days.

So my plan is Money. Filthy Lucre. Each day. $10. Ten bucks to spend on whatever I want for each day that I stay on the Program of my understanding. And for the 24 hours that ended at 5pm yesterday, I had an on program day, so I went back and got my hair styled at the beauty school. Eight bucks.

The reward is almost immediate - the gratification almost instant - I'm using that need/want for instant gratification to jump start me. And yes, it is a bit self-indulgent (but I don't really expect that I will feel the need to spend the $$$ after a few days) but there is an added bonus of choosing to spend the money right after work - less time at home in the evening to snack around! Brilliant, I tell you, Brilliant. Ah, well, time will tell.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. One Day At A Time.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Funky Chicken

Liza with a Z
Miss Ann
The Cluckinator
Mr. Clucksalot
Cluck Gable

In keeping with the "Beyonce'" theme, I'm leaning towards something in the entertainment field with one-name recognition. Right now, Shania is leading the pack - but I still haven't decided fully. I feel like the name attached to the chicken should be funny, side-dressed with a pinch of irony. I mean, a metal chicken named Britney?

But nothing has been decided - so keep your cards and letters coming!

Got in a good workout yesterday and an even better one today. Food was decent and has been decent today - but I'm just now entering the 'witching' hour.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Do The Funky Chicken.


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Chicken Chronicles

It was my crazy-assed sister who left me the chicken-to-be-named-later. I'd passed on that internet post to her when it first came out and since then, we'd been quoting lines to each other - completely out of context and in strange places and would just crack ourselves right up!

It's amazing how many times "That chicken will cut you" can result in peals of laughter.

So when I saw the chicken, I knew from whence it came. It's a damned wonder someone didn't call the cops on her - she and my 74 year old mother were hiding in.the.bushes - at ten o'clock at night! You know, there is a lot of insane in my family and sometimes, it's just fun as hell. And to Shelley, no, it is not my Mom's chicken, Mariah. Mariah is exactly like Beyonce. My chicken is of a much smaller (oh, thank god) variety. But she desperately needs a name.

Any suggestions?

My August is getting off to a smiley start - because really - how could you not smile everytime you look out into the yard and there is The Nameless Chicken and there are NO.SNAKES!

Got a lot done yesterday - felt good and productive - but still no appreciable exercising, except for the yard work. Food was decent - although some brownies got me late in the day. I need to change my habit of doing my grocery shopping on Sunday evening. Due to my schedule, I'm always hungry - and while it is more efficient to shop while I'm already out - it's isn't the best for me - so that schedule needs to change.

My BBM challenge today is to rate my personality. I've got personality +. It runs in the family.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Smile. Right Now.